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The Widows of Eastwick (Eastwick #2)

2.93  ·  Rating Details ·  1,605 Ratings  ·  298 Reviews
When the three witches - now old, remarried and widowed - decide to go back to Eastwick to spend a summer together, many things have changed. Darryl Van Horne is gone. Their husbands and lovers have gone. The lithe and supple bodies with which they wrecked marriages and wreaked havoc many years before have gone - and have been replaced with the quiet aches and encumbrances ...more
Paperback, 308 pages
Published July 2nd 2009 by Penguin (first published 2008)
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It's a solid 'What a delightful book!' 4.5 stars.

I wonder why this book only gets 2.9 stars from Goodread.

After the messy events in The Witches of Eastwick, the three witches: Alex, Jane and Sukie were more or less forced to leave town. Now 30 years later, the three women had already aged and widowed, so they decided to travel around the world and then went back to Eastwick to spend a summer there. But after going back to Eastwick, they soon realized after so many years, not everyone in the sma
Dec 08, 2009 David rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So when I clicked the "read" option to bookshelf this poor excuse of a novel, I ending up wishing there was an option saying, "I gave up on this piece of shit nearly 95 pages into it because it was an even MORE watered-down version of Updike's alleged 'feminism' found in The Witches of Eastwick."

I wanted to give this guy the benefit of the doubt, hoping that perhaps after 25 years he might have evolved past the Silent Generation's warped social views, and maybe even better redeemed the horrible
May 03, 2015 Rebbie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Updike's apparent fascination with possible body odor emanating from his characters' nether regions was enough to make me feel a little queasy. After one particularly odd scene of an old lady's behind in someone's face that may or may not have stunk, I slammed the book shut and stared at Updike's picture in despair. Why, oh why did you have to make me read that, John? What did I ever do to you?

So I took a deep breath, composed myself and plunged through the book as quickly as possible, secretly
Marius van Blerck
This week has not been a good one for my book choices, This is the second of three false starts. I simply could not get into this book. Just too twee.
Nov 28, 2008 Vin is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I've got 50 pages to go. It's better than most of reviews it received gave it credit for ... but it's not nearly as good as "The Witches of Eastwick" - the original appearance of these 3 ladies. I am always compelled to read the "new Updike" (as I am "the new Roth"), and I've noticed in his last few novels he has developed a penchant to referencing his characters' (who are mostly aging, as he is) body odors. The widows are all three of them obsessed at times with how they smell and how they thin ...more
Stephen Durrant
The witches of Eastwick thirty years later, now widowed, on the other side of second marriages, far away from sex and witchery, reunite first in world travel and then back in Eastwick itself. Once in Eastwick, they discover that certain echoes from their earlier mischief live on and eventually entice them to return to witchcraft and, in Sukie's case, sex. But somehow this book never quite rang true to me. Much of the travelogue was well-written but seemed here to be filler (gotta get 300 pages!) ...more
Nov 21, 2008 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Updike, John. THE WIDOWS OF EASTWICK. (2008). ****. Back in 1984, Updike published “The Witches of Eastwick,” the story of three women who lived in a small town in Rhode Island who got together and discovered they had “witchy” powers. That was twenty-six years ago. Now, all three, Alexandra, Jane, and Sukie, have left town, married (some several times), and are now widows. They have each faced widowhood in their own ways. Alexandra, who is now living in New Mexico, decided to travel. Off she wen ...more
Dec 30, 2008 Katrina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Witches of Eastwick was one of my favorite guilty pleasures of the eighties, but this years-removed sequel just doesn't measure up. The Widows, now thirty years older, attempt to reunite beneath the cone of power they had used to upend Eastwick in their youth, but it just never comes together for me. At times the writing is great, especially as the widows tour the world together, but at other times it drags. Maybe witchcraft is best left in the hands of the young.
Nov 14, 2014 Leona rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Book Description
Publication Date: October 14, 2008
More than three decades after the events described in The Witches of Eastwick, Alexandra, Jane, and Sukie—widowed, aging, and with their occult powers fading—return for the summer to the Rhode Island town where they once made piquant scandal and sometimes deadly mischief. But what was then a center of license and liberation is now a “haven of wholesomeness” populated by hockey moms and househusbands primly rebelling against their
Jul 30, 2014 Kathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read the Witches of Eastwick back in the year 1984. This is the follow up book to that. The 3 witches EVENTUALLY get back together and travel to Eastwick for the summer.

The witches are Jane (serious, mean, cello player who marries into a rich New England Nathaniel Hawthorne sort of family), Sukie (an attractive redhead who worked for the town paper and was into the town business in more ways than one) and the third I can't recall, but she is the fat pretty brunette who neglects her kids
Feb 20, 2010 Ted rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Updike fans, Eastwick fans
Having read the first book (and seen the movie), I'm disappointed in this sequel. Putting aside my feelings on the characters and their adventures in the first novel, this book on its own has a very weak "plot" and a poor structure.

Once upon a time, Alex, Jane and Sukie were best friends living in a small town in Rhode Island, dabbling both in sorcery and seduction of their neighbours. Thirty years on, they have gone their separate ways, found love and subsequently lost it, which leads to their
Amelia Chameleon
Aug 15, 2012 Amelia Chameleon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Just re-read Witches and was excited to keep it going with Widows, but no. Updike's writing drags in a lot of places and honestly this book felt like an old man's fist-shaking "get those kids off my lawn" diatribe but filtered through familiar characters. The theme of getting older and losing your sense of the world is valid but the writing is so slow and whiny that it's hard to get into it.

Besides the slow pace, the extra babbling descriptors make the conversation so stilted that there have to
Ericka Clou
I liked the writing in this one better than the first one- less flowery. I also thought that this one by showing the ways in which the women did and didn't change over the years, solidified that Updike really knew who they were. Regarding this, I think reviewers are unfair to Updike about his characters not being feminist creations. I don't think reviewers would be so aghast if the author were a woman (but possibly a little). Yes, these aren't morally inspirational women, but neither are they th ...more
Todd Carney
Jun 22, 2015 Todd Carney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I discovered that Updike had written a sequel to "The Witches of Eastwick" one day while I was at the library, reading the original book, which frustrated me, as did its movie adaptation. As I write this, all of the movie's cast are still alive, so when I checked out the book's sequel, I had this notion that the book would have me imagine a sequel to the movie that could still be made. But the original Eastwick novel and movie are so different and end so vastly differently, that this sequel woul ...more
May 10, 2014 Fred rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OK, it's not as brilliant and tight as the first book, but I take exception to all the rather tiresome reviews going on and on about what a sexist Updike was, how much he loathed women, etc. - bullshit: he was a gimlet-eyed misanthrope, but not particularly meanspirited about it: EVERYone gets skewered at some level, but most everyone also has well-sketched human qualities. The characters seema as real and well-limned as ever - the man was a keen observer of human motivation and interior life as ...more
First of all let me say, I never read the first book, although I did see the movie. This book is nothing like the movie, but then again, I have heard the first book is nothing like the movie either. In my mind, I kept seeing the actresses (Cher, Susan Serandon, and Michelle Pfeiffer.) As much as I enjoyed the writing, it took a while to get into, as it sometimes had long sentences, and even longer paragraphs. Once I picked up the flow, it wasn’t too bad. I found it to be well researched, but som ...more
Dec 10, 2010 Caitlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is really a 3.75, but I like Updike enough to give him the full 4 stars. I read this in about 2 days (while I should have been studying.)

I think _Widows_ illustrates some of what is so compelling--and so dirty--about Updike. To a younger reader, there's a certain horror in learning how little the widows care for their children, how disposable their husbands were, and how attached they are to both husbands and children nonetheless. Is this what aging is like?

There's a wonderful olfactory qua
Alice Osborn
The Widows of Eastwick is John Updike's last published book (he died January 27th, 2009 of lung cancer)and just because it was his last book, that in itself is worth the read. I love Updike's short story, "A&P" but haven't had the pleaure of reading any of his novels -- "Widows" was my first foray into Updikeland. I enjoyed his tangents about aging, loss and decreptitude. These are all surely issues that were on his mind as he was sick with lung cancer. The book, however, is mostly a self-in ...more
Jul 20, 2011 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This got abysmal reviews when it was first published, but when I saw a hardcover copy for $5 at my local independent bookstore (Taylor Books) I snapped it up (tangent: when I got it home I noticed it has what appears to be the small box with numbers on the back of the dust jacket, which usually means a book club do those get to stores? Remaindered? Something else?).

Anyway, enjoyed it more than I thought I might, given those reviews. I LOVED The Witches of Eastwick and generally enjo
Dec 21, 2015 Jay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I'll repeat my review of "Witches of Eastwick", because I felt about the same:

Updike's voice is there, his excellent writing, the wit, but this one didn't grab me as some of his other, more personal dramas have. Maybe I didn't like the writing for a cast instead of an individual. Maybe it is just that the witches seemed pretty much one note, and not one that I can identify with.

This one felt a bit odd and I didn't much like it until the end. I liked the "humanity" of the ending, although I didn
Hank Mishkoff
This is like two books in one.

In the first half of the book, nothing happens, it's all character re-development using the device of a series of travelogues. It's like reading "What I Did on My Last Three Summer Vacations," by John Updike. Elegantly written, as you'd expect, but no action whatsoever.

The second half of the book is completely different, as the widows return to Eastwick, only to learn how much it, and they, have changed. But traces of witchiness remain, and even as benign as Eastwic
Sep 08, 2010 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
This story was interesting enough, but not quite a good as Witches of Eastwick. The beginning rambled on about foreign trips some of the witches took alone, and with each other. It was quite a wait till we got to Eastwick again.

It was nice to have them reunited in town and shown all the changes that happened over the years but there wasn't much magic, unlike the previous book.

However, all this being said, I really enjoyed the story. The personalities of all the women were all quite different,
Que sí, que es Updike.
Que sí, que tiene una elegante prosa y, a veces, puntillosa.
Que sí, que es la continuación de una buena novela...

Pero, le sobra más de la mitad del libro. Alargado en demasía, lógicamente para los seguidores de la primera parte.

Decepcionante y tedioso.

Se salva, apenas, por las últimas 150 páginas, que deberían de haber sido la novela en sí, tal como fue en su día "Las Brujas de Eastwick".
May 14, 2009 Chris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was not very good at all and reminded me of why I never read more than one of his other books. It didn't seem like he had much to say so he had to fill in with a travelogue, physics lessons, gratuitous sex, and even a pathetic bodice ripper. It gets my goat when men presume to write from the perspective of women (a notable exception being the author of The Last Living Confederate War Widow Tells All). He did not hit the right notes to make the characters come alive and I didn't like an ...more
Oh, god, this is even worst than the first one, now we have three old bitches, I mean witches, trying to rekindle their lost being still horrible people with zero tolerance (Seriously, wtf with all the gay bashing? Something tells me the author snuck some of his own prejudices into this book).
What can you say of a book when the only thing you're waiting is for the main characters to die already? Certainly I had 1/3 of my wish granted, but still, it just went nowhere.
The first half is
Apr 15, 2009 Jocardo rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had to relegate this book to the dark, Pit of Despair. Reading Updike is hard. Sentences go on for pages, thoughts could last entire volumes. I know he was one of the Great American Writers. I don't dispute that. I just didn't like this book. The first one was okay, and I forged through. But I've decided that life is too short for bad fiction and now I am not feeling so badly about not finishing books. The POD is getting bigger all the time!
Robert Thacker
Updike's last novel and a must read for me for that reason. Some good observations on aging, marriage, and being a parent to adult children. The book is not as dense or intense as the first installment and except for some imbedded physics lessons, this is an easy, often funny, read. The Widows do lots of looking back while they try to keep moving forward. And will they revive their witchcraft? Yes, they will.
Dec 19, 2009 Jo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, paranormal
Updike revisits his heroines from The Witches of Eastwick bringing them 30 years into the present. It took me about 100 pages to get into this book but even then it was still only okay. I doubt I'll read anything else by this author
Feb 08, 2009 Corey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's a sequel to my least favorite Updike novel. But I liked it so much better than the first Eastwick book. A beautiful meditation on aging, and, oh those wonderful Updikean sentences!
Jan 09, 2009 Margie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, series
Enjoyable, and although I appreciated the perspective on aging, it rang a bit false. Perhaps I'm just disgruntled because he makes the female aging process sound so depressing.
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John Hoyer Updike was an American writer. Updike's most famous work is his Rabbit series (Rabbit, Run; Rabbit Redux; Rabbit Is Rich; Rabbit At Rest; and Rabbit Remembered). Rabbit is Rich and Rabbit at Rest both won Pulitzer Prizes for Updike. Describing his subject as "the American small town, Protestant middle class," Updike is well known for his careful craftsmanship and prolific writing, havin ...more
More about John Updike...

Other Books in the Series

Eastwick (2 books)
  • The Witches of Eastwick (Eastwick #1)

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